Allegany to Appomattox
The Life and Letters of Private William Whitlock of the 188th New York Volunteers
"Dunham’s ability to place Private Whitlock—and the reader—in the time
and place of the Civil War, whether on the family farm in upstate New York,
in the mind-numbing routines of military life, or in the battlefield environment
of the Civil War’s Eastern theater makes this a meaningful and memorable
contribution to the historical genre of Civil War letters literature."—Rod Gragg, author of Confederate Goliath: The Battle of Fort Fisher
From the book . . .
"oh how I do hope they can manage to settle this war up so we can reenforse
our homes instead of the armey. that would be a more pleasing task
to do. if half of the talk we hear is true they are doing thear best but I dair
not hope to strong for fear the disappointment will be worse. but we will
hope for the best and if it dont come we will put up with the worst."—Private William Whitlock
Valgene Dunham is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the College
of Science at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South
Carolina. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books, chapters,
and journal articles.
Book Description »[Hide »]
On September 7, 1864, William Whitlock, aged thirty-five, left his wife
and four children in Allegany, New York, to join the Union army in battle.
More than 100 years later, his unpublished letters to his wife were found
in the attic of a family home. These letters serve as the foundation for Allegany
to Appomattox, giving readers a vivid glimpse into the environment
and political atmosphere that surrounded the Civil War from the perspective
of a northern farmer and lumberman.
Whitlock’s observations tell of exhausting marches, limited rations, and
grueling combat. In plainspoken language, the letters also reveal a desperate
homesickness, consistently expressing concern for the family’s health
and financial situation and requesting news from home. Dunham’s detailed
descriptions of the war’s progress and specific battles provide a rich context
for Whitlock’s letters, orienting readers to both the broad narrative of
the Civil War and the intimate chronicle of one soldier’s impressions.
Table of Contents »[Hide »]
1. Allegany Atmospheres
2. Failed Compromises
3. Elmira Excitement
4. On the Move
5. Life in the Trenches
6. Life Back Home
7. "The Bulits Whistled Right Smart"
8. Wrecking the Weldon
9. Faith and Fighting
10. "We Will Probley Have to Go"
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6 x 9, 264 pages, 21 black-and-white illustrations, appendixes, notes,